Equal Exchange, worker owned co-op, offers fairly traded products such as coffee, tea and snacks you can often find in your local stores. They also offer a fundraising program for public and private schools and organizations! Watch this video for more details:
Tress can add great benefits to your library and/or school property. They provide shade which can reduce air conditioning needs by 30% and can save 20 – 50% in energy used for heating (from GreenStrides). They offer a beautiful, welcoming environment which studies have shown can reduce blood pressure and muscle tension for your employees and customers. Trees also contribute benefits such as less runoff and erosion, prevent the transport of sediment and chemicals into streams, and fight global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the air and releasing oxygen.
The Arbor Day Foundation sells Grow Your Own Tree Activity Kits perfect for elementary school age children. Public librarians could consider this activity as a summer program for the community kids to get involved in the library and plant tress in the process. School librarians could think about this idea in collaboration with a science teacher/class.
The Arbor Day Foundation also offers a Gift Tree Program to raise money for a school or community organization. Your school or Friends of the Library could look into this idea for a a “green” fundraising project!
I posted about Better World Books back in January, but I want to mention something I just read about this socially responsible company. The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire just posted about them saying they “distributed more than $470,000 in proceeds from its Library Discards & Donations Program to hundreds of city, county and university libraries in 2007…” Better World Books has now collected items from over 900 libraries and generated over $1.4 million in funding for libraries in the last 5 years (as well as additional $2.7 million for non-profit literacy initiatives.) Also note they have saved 6,454 tons of books from ending up in landfills and 1725 tons of carbon offsets through carbon-neutral shipping. WOW! If you haven’t yet taken the time to check out their Library Discards & Donation program, visit them online: http://www.betterworldbooks.com/Programs/Library.aspx
Fast Company magazine just listed them as one of 45 social entrepreneurs who are changing the world. Cnet’s news.com blog wrote about them recently as well: “Eco-alternative to Amazon funds literacy programs” They are also a certified Founding B Corporation.
Looking for a place to discard old library books that is not a dumpster? Check out Better World Books. They sell discarded and donated material from libraries across the USA States on over 17 online marketplaces. The program generates funding for both libraries and non-profit literacy initiatives. Yup, you can actually donate your materials to Better World Books and get money in return! There are no costs – no sign up fees, no service agreements, etc. And books they can’t sell – they recycle – nothing ends up in a landfill. Check out the FAQs for more info. I know several libraries who use the program now and would love to hear their comments on the program.